Southampton pushed former manager Nigel Adkin’s Reading side closer to an immediate return to the Championship with a 2-0 win at the Madjeski Stadium.
Adkins received a warm welcome from all sides of the ground but left second best to his successor, Mauricio Pochettino, as goals from Jay Rodriguez and Adam Lallana gave Southampton a comfortable victory to win an away game for the first time under Pochettino.
Reading now sit bottom of the Premier League and, with the teams above them having games in hand, it is looking more and more unlikely that they will be in the Premier League next season.
Aston Villa secured an impressive three points at the Brittania Stadium as they dragged Stoke City into the relegation battle with a 3-1 victory. Gabriel Agbonglahor’s fifth goal in nine league games gave Paul Lambert’s side a deserved lead whilst Tony Pulis’ men looked a shadow of the team that started the season so brightly.
Stoke did grab an equaliser through Michael Kightly but two late goals, one absolute stunner from Matthew Lowton and a 9th Premier League goal in 2013 for Christian Benteké, pushed Aston Villa to 16th and just one point behind Stoke who sit in 14th.
A Tomas Rosicky brace moved Arsenal into fourth in the Premier League as they survived the last 20 minutes with ten men to beat West Brom 2-1 at the Hawthorns. Rosicky scored either side of half time to give Arsenal what looked like a comfortable victory, but after the introduction of Romelu Lukaku, West Brom suddenly found top gear.
Per Mertesacker received a straight red card from referee Howard Webb as he fouled Shane Long in the area and James Morrison just about converted the spot kick. Despite heavy Albion pressure, the Arsenal rearguard stood firm to claim a valuable three points which sees them overtake Chelsea into fourth.
Capital One Cup winners Swansea City held relegation threatened Norwich City to a 2-2 draw at Carrow Road to end their run of Premier League defeats.
The Welsh side took the lead through their prolific frontman Michu, who had already had a goal ruled out, as the Spaniard smashed the ball past replacement goalkeeper Lee Camp.
Robert Snodgrass’s equaliser before halftime gave Carrow Road rejuvenated hope and that hope was increased when Michael Turner smashed home a volley to give Chris Hughton’s side the lead. However, Luke Moore’s late equaliser was a hammer blow to Norwich’s bid for survival and they now sit precariously just five points above safety with four teams below them having games in hand.